Frequently Asked Questions about HYCC Services
1. What is HYCC and why is it useful to me?
HYCC is the abbreviated version of the company’s full name - Harbin Yale Consulting Company Limited. It is a company established in Harbin, China in 2005. The company has assisted hundreds of foreign students to come and study Chinese language in China.
HYCC is useful because we provide reliable, independent support and advice to foreign students before and after their arrival in China. HYCC leaves the core language teaching to the universities, helping students with all other aspects of their study experience including managing the application process and getting used to life in a completely different culture.
2. Which HYCC service is suitable for me?
If you have never lived or studied abroad before and speak no Chinese we would recommend that you use our Comprehensive service. We pledge to help you with whatever problems you have during the duration of your stay in China, whether they are related to your study course or not. We will even lend you a mobile phone so that you can contact us from the moment we leave you on your own in the dormitory after your arrival. If you want to live off-campus we will help you to find a suitable apartment.
If you speak some Chinese or have lived abroad before then you probably do not require such close attention. We would recommend that you use our Basic service. We will manage your application process and set you up with everything you need after your arrival. After a few weeks of assistance from us we will leave you on your own. Although we will be happy to keep in touch and answer informal questions from you we will not guarantee to provide immediate assistance in case of emergencies. The apartment search fee is not included in the cost of the basic fee although we can add this separately if you wish.
If you have studied in China before you probably know how poor the universities are at administrative duties. Although you may be able to handle all the problems you will face in your daily life, we can still manage the application process for you so that you can be sure you have registered properly. This is difficult to organize from abroad.
3. How do I pay for HYCC services?
We realize that students are reluctant to pay a large amount of money in advance before they receive any service from HYCC. This is natural and sensible. Therefore we have designed a payment structure that is fair and easy to follow.
Irrespective of which service you require from HYCC, the first payment of EUR 100 / US$125 should be made after we have confirmed that your application has been accepted and before we request the university to issue the official paperwork to us. The quickest way to pay is via Paypal, however we can also accept payments directly to our Chinese bank account.
If you requested the Basic or Comprehensive services, you shall pay the remainder of your payment after your arrival in China. We will first of all provide the services explained in the Basic service description. One of these is the setup of a local bank account. Once your account is setup money has been sent from abroad we will go with you to arrange a payment directly to our bank account in China. This happens approximately two weeks after your arrival in China, so by this time we have proven that we can provide the services that you require.
4. What is HYCC unable to help me with?
Even if you use our Comprehensive service we are unable to help you if you leave the city in which you are studying. Our service cannot and does not cover all of China. We also do not guarantee to help you after your period of study has ended. Finally, we will not commit to paying any expenses on your behalf, like medical expenses, deposits or tuition fees.
If you use our Basic service we will not guarantee to provide ongoing support to you throughout the period of study, although we are happy to answer your informal questions when we can. Our service will be completed once we have helped you through the initial weeks adapting to your new environment. This service does not assist you to find an apartment, although you can request this separately.
If you use our Application service we will only ensure that your application and registration proceeds smoothly. We will not assist with anything unrelated to this procedure.
Please note that under no circumstances can we take responsibility for the Chinese Embassy rejecting the issuance of a visa to you. This is something that is outside of the control of HYCC and cooperating universities in China.
5. How does the apartment search service work?
Every student has different requirements for selecting an apartment. We show students 4-5 apartments in one day that we consider meet their requirements. If the student is happy with any of these apartments then we help complete the contract with the landlord. We charge EUR 100 / US$ 125 for this service.
In our experience, 75% of students are satisfied with one of the first five apartments they see. If the student does not like any of the initial apartments then we organize another day of apartment search (another four or five apartments). We charge an additional EUR100 / US$125 for each extra day.
The student should also pay the brokerage fee to the real estate agent that is organizing the apartment search (HYCC just coordinates and protects the interests of the students when negotiating the contracts). This differs by city but the maximum cost should be 50% of the monthly rent payable to the landlord.
6. If I have a problem with the university will HYCC protect my interests?
It depends what the problem is. If you have clearly broken the school rules (or worse, the law in China), then we will not be able to help you very much. If it is a problem with the dormitory, with a teacher or with some other aspect of the university services then we are happy to raise issues with the university on your behalf. We cannot guarantee that the issue will be resolved, but we do have more power to change things than individual students have because we are working closely with the universities on a continuous basis.
If you use the Application service then HYCC cannot assist you with these problems. If you use the Basic service then HYCC will only assist you during your first month of study.
7. Under what circumstances will HYCC provide a refund?
Due to the payment structure explained above in Question 3, there are very limited circumstances in which HYCC will provide a refund.
We only accept the first payment from students after we have confirmed that the university will accept your application, therefore there is no possibility of a rejection. After receipt of the payment we will coordinate issuance of the documents and send them to the applicant. At this stage, if the applicant changes his / her mind we cannot refund this portion. Please note that applicants are able to delay their arrival by up to one year without forfeiting this application fee. We understand that changing situations sometimes forces applicants to delay their study period for a while.
We accept the second payment after we have demonstrated our capability to provide the services requested of us by students. The only situation in which we would refund money is when a Comprehensive service participant needs to return home due to illness or other serious problem. In these circumstances we would refund a portion of the fee and coordinate with the university to do the same with the tuition fee.
8. I want to organize a group study trip to China. Can HYCC help me?
Sure. We can handle all the coordination with an appropriate university including provision of teachers, classrooms and accommodation. We can also arrange some schedules for extra-curricular activities and sightseeing visits. Prices on application.
9. Where are the HYCC offices?
Our registered office is in Harbin, China. It is from here that we manage all the coordination with the universities. We have a support network in the other cities around northeastern China which we use to provide post-arrival services to foreign students.
10. How did you get involved in this business?
Five years ago the general manager of HYCC, Adam Livermore, decided to study Chinese language in China. He first went to Beijing, where he spent a semester studying with other Europeans and North Americans in an area of the city populated mainly by Koreans. His Chinese did not improve.
After that he decided to study in Harbin at Heilongjiang University. The application procedure was vague and the university failed to send him the documents required for his visa in time for the start of the semester. As a result, although he had already quit his job he could not come to China until the following semester, wasting time and several months of income. After arrival in Harbin he had to organize everything himself with little advice or support from the university.
After a semester his Chinese improved dramatically due to the teaching and living in an exclusively Chinese-speaking environment. He realized that more students would follow his example, they just needed a support network in place to manage the application procedure and some assistance through the first few weeks. He set up HYCC in his second year in China to provide this service.